Now Precedent Songs, Farewell

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from Leaves of Grass: BOOK XXXIV. SANDS AT SEVENTY - by Walt Whitman.

  Now precedent songs, farewell—by every name farewell,
  (Trains of a staggering line in many a strange procession, waggons,
  From ups and downs—with intervals—from elder years, mid-age, or youth,)
  “In Cabin’d Ships, or Thee Old Cause or Poets to Come
  Or Paumanok, Song of Myself, Calamus, or Adam,
  Or Beat! Beat! Drums! or To the Leaven’d Soil they Trod,
  Or Captain! My Captain! Kosmos, Quicksand Years, or Thoughts,
  Thou Mother with thy Equal Brood,” and many, many more unspecified,
  From fibre heart of mine—from throat and tongue—(My life’s hot
      pulsing blood,
  The personal urge and form for me—not merely paper, automatic type
      and ink,)
  Each song of mine—each utterance in the past—having its long, long
      history,
  Of life or death, or soldier’s wound, of country’s loss or safety,
  (O heaven! what flash and started endless train of all! compared
      indeed to that!
  What wretched shred e’en at the best of all!)

 

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